Amplats: Safe to return to work

2012-09-19 20:13

Johannesburg - It was safe for mine employees to return to work, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Wednesday night.

"The increase in police visibility and action has created an environment conducive for our employees to return to work and isolated incidents of intimidation and violence are being dealt with," it said in a statement.

Amplats said those who did not return to work would be in violation of a court order, which last week declared the strike illegal.

"Amplats has communicated to its employees the requirement to return to work by night shift on 20 September, failing which legal avenues will be pursued."

It said its Rustenburg operation was already under considerable economic pressure and any further delays would increase the risk of the long-term viability of the mine.

Earlier, police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse a crowd gathered near Amplats in Rustenburg and 22 people were arrested.

Government ministers in Cabinet's security cluster said last week that the government would no longer tolerate violence, threats and intimidation in the mining sector after strikes occurred along Rustenburg's platinum belt, with another one near Carletonville.

The measures included a crackdown on illegal gatherings, carrying dangerous weapons, incitement, and threats of violence against anyone in the affected areas.

After suspending operations last week, citing employee safety due to the situation in the region, Amplats resumed operations on Tuesday.

Workers were paid over the suspension period.

Amplats workers wanted a monthly salary of R16 070 and other modifications to their fringe benefits.

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